Bill Adkisson and his wife Ellen Bourne are both proud graduates of Illinois State University and have enjoyed long and successful careers as consultants to the healthcare industry.
Bill is especially interested in supporting the education of future nurses because of a personal experience. He contracted polio when he was just two years old. Over the next 18 years, he was a regular patient at Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, enduring countless operations, long hospital stays, and follow-up exams. Because his family lived in a small town far from Denver, and because his mother had other children to care for at home, he was often alone in the hospital for weeks at a time.
During these stays he developed a bond with a very special nurse. She was just out of training when he was first admitted to the hospital, and she followed him throughout his childhood and teenage years. Even as her career progressed to administration, she still knew when he had an appointment scheduled and would make a point of stopping by his doctor’s office to keep in touch. Although he cannot remember her name, he will always feel grateful to this nurse for her loving care of a lonely little boy.
Bill and Ellen have designated that their scholarship go to a non-traditional student in honor of Ellen’s cousins, Myrna Tomblinson and Barbara Thomann. These ladies both returned to school to earn their RN degrees while in their 40’s and enjoyed working as geriatric nurses in southern Illinois.